Respect apex court’s shariah enactment decision, says Selangor sultan

Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, who heads the national Islamic affairs council, says the Federal Constitution must be upheld by all Malaysians as the supreme law of the land.

(FMT) – The sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, has urged everyone to respect the Federal Court’s decision to strike down 16 provisions in the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code (I) Enactment 2019 on grounds that they are unconstitutional.

Sultan Sharafuddin, who chairs the national council for Islamic affairs, said the Federal Constitution must also be upheld by all Malaysians as the supreme law of the land.

“What is more important is for us to find a way to overcome the matter by studying ways to expand the state assemblies’ competency to enact shariah criminal laws within the framework of the constitution,” he said, according to the Selangor Royal Office.

The sultan noted that many politicians, legal practitioners, academics and members of the public have given their opinions and interpretations on the outcome of the decision. Some have properly explained the true effect of the decision.

“However, others have sought to play on the polemics for the interests of certain parties, which has caused confusion among Muslims in the country.

“Some have even described the Federal Court’s decision as a ‘Black Friday’ moment for shariah criminal law in the country.

“I do not wish to add to that polemic,” the sultan said.

Sultan Sharafuddin said he was informed that a special committee, established in August last year to review issues surrounding the competency of the state legislative assemblies to enact shariah laws, is presently looking into the consequential issues arising from Friday’s Federal Court decision.

This involves an analysis of existing legal provisions, reviewing the decision of the apex court, discussing in detail all issues arising, and making recommendations that will allow the enactment of Islamic law and the empowerment of the shariah courts, in line with the Federal Constitution.

The sultan said the committee’s findings will be presented to the Conference of Rulers for fine-tuning and adoption.

“I urge all parties, including legal experts, to assist the special committee with knowledgeable, thoughtful and practical recommendations,” he said.

Sultan Sharafuddin also urged all parties, especially the Muslim community, not to incite chaos while awaiting the special committee’s proposals.

“Let us preserve our culture and avoid creating confusion among Muslims. There is no need for open conflict.

“These issues can be resolved privately. We must celebrate the differences in our opinions and resolve them scientifically, prudently and using the right channels.”

Sultan Sharafuddin said the administration of Islam should be free of partisan politics and the tendency to politicise every religious matter.

“The time has come for all Muslims to unite. When we are strong and united, the non-Muslim community will respect us,” he said.